Sep 6, 2010

Nonexistent Nation

Port St Johns South Africa-166   You just can't make this stuff up.  Imagine a tiny 'nation' that tried to secede from the brutal regime of the South Africa.  And instead of waging a civil war to keep it the South African Prime Minister (and former Nazi) declared it an independent republic by referring to 'the right of every people to have full control over its own affairs' which was just a wee bit ironic considering he also staunchly also supported apartheid.
Port St Johns South Africa-46Port St Johns South Africa-125   So this newly independent state was no longer South Africa, it became the Transkei with it's own flag, government, and military for 18 years.  The only problem?  South Africa was also the only country on the planet that recognized it.  Despite their best efforts, the rest of the world (and the ANC) refused to let South Africa give it up.  It's a peculiar situation, and one that only got stranger in 1978 when the leaders of the Transkei got so frustrated with South Africa that they cut off all diplomatic ties.  Which means they cut off all relations with the only country that acknowledged their very existence. 
This all ended in 1994.  Nelson Mandela was released, apartheid was eliminated, the constitution was rewritten, and the Transkei was welcomed back into South Africa.  Which was very convenient,  because both Mandela and the next president Thabo Mbeki weren't actually from South Africa.  They were both born in the Transkei.  
Port St Johns South Africa-151

With a history like that, Erin and I couldn't resist visiting.  We navigated some long rides off the beaten path to a little coastal town called Port St Johns.  The wilderness was lush and diverse, people were friendly, laidback and integrated.  More than anything, after a long scramble along the garden route Erin and I needed a place slow down, relax and spend our days hiking and watching the waves crash onto the beach from hammocks.

1 comment:

  1. I have always loved reading about your adventures. The imagery sweeps me away from my desk and takes me to the beautiful places you visit. Thank you~